4 Interesting Screen Printing Technologies

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

4 Interesting Screen Printing Technologies


Screen printing, or silk screening, basically involves pushing ink through a prepared screen using a squeegee or fill blade, so that it's applied to a surface in a specific pattern. This technique has become very popular because the wide variety of inks used allow printing to a range of materials.

Silk screening itself can be done consistently over hundreds of prints even at a photo-like quality. Here are some of the technologies involved.

Types of Ink

Over the years, many types of ink have been developed for different needs. Traditional inks that required heat drying, for instance, are now made with special chemical hardeners so that they set quickly under bright UV light, saving printers time and power costs. Many inks are plastic-based, or plastisol, so that they adhere permanently to materials like vinyl yet remain flexible. Crackling or suede inks produce a certain texture. Some inks use powdered metal for a full metallic look, while expanding inks rise to create a 3D effect.

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Screen Make-Ready

A screen is prepared for each color. Normally, monotone artwork on transparent film is applied to a screen coated with a substance called emulsifier which dries under intense light. Only the art-covered areas don't dry. The wet emulsifier can then be washed out to form the image through which the ink is pushed. Modern systems skip the film and print the image directly over the emulsifier. In either case, the screen can be re-used, or the emulsion washed away entirely with solvents to recover a blank screen.


Silk screening can make high-def images of multiple shades, such as using magenta, cyan, yellow, and black in dots or halftones to create any color where needed. Single-color printings can be applied to larger screens to create large banners, or to large sheets of almost any material for multiple images. Software is used to separate colors for printing in many cases.  Metallic ink, for instance, could lay down multiple circuit boards at a single pass, helping to lower the cost of electronics.

Screen Printing Technologies

Automotive Screen Printing

High-quality UV inks and fabric-safe solvent inks are becoming more popular for transforming vehicle interiors. Dash panels, instruments, shifters, glove boxes, door panels, windows, and metal auto body parts can be printed to apply custom designs and artwork, or promote businesses. This can create distinctive looks on anything from bicycles to airplanes that isn't possible with ordinary paint and stencils.

High speed automatic presses can lay down thousands of impressions (images) per day. This makes modern screen printing a highly efficient technology that can produce an incredible variety of images on nearly any material. Visit a company like Schilling Graphics and see how screen printing can help you in your life or at work.

By  Dixie SomersEmbed

Author Bio - Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance and self improvement. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


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